Cupcake nails! Darling Art Class water decals at BBU

Last weekend I went to Beauty Bloggers Utopia, which brought together 30 Australian beauty bloggers for a weekend of delicious food, inspiring talks and more make-up than you can shake a kabuki brush at. Naturally the thing I was most excited about was the nail art workshop hosted by Darling, scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Predictable, moi? :P

I had a mild moment of panic when I saw a tower of cups lined up. Immediate thought: water marbling, FFFUUUUUU-! Luckily for me (AND EVERYONE ELSE), it turned out to be a water decal workshop. Phew! (Trust me, if you haven’t tried it, water marbling is not to be taken lightly. Allocate 5 hours at least.)

Darling is an Australian nail polish brand which launched late last year. They have a range of gorgeous 5-free lacquers with excellent, creamy formulas. I’ve had the privilege of trying out a bunch and they’re super gorgeous (I’ll be showing some nail art I did on Polish or Perish next week), but today I’ll be featuring a sneak peek of their upcoming Art Class water decal range. These are the cutest ones in my opinion, and very, very necessary – baked goods:

I’m currently on a low-carb diet, so looking at my nails is incredible torture! The polishes I used for the dot designs around the decals are Darling Hopelessly Devoted (pink) and Butter Wouldn’t Melt (yellow), and ulta3 Corsican Rose (green) and Soft Hydrangea (blue).

And here’s the design I created during the workshop, on a base of Darling Sage Advice, a colour I’ve been lemming for ages:

I’ve actually had a bunch of other water decals sitting around in my room for a while – I’d been too scared to try them. But it turns out that they’re a piece of cake:*

  1. Cut out designs with scissors or a Stanley knife. Leave as small a gap as possible around the design, but don’t worry too much – the white space ends up clear.
  2. Paint your nails, let them dry. If your nails are completely dry, moving the decal around on top later will be a lot easier.
  3. Tweeze a decal (you know what I mean). Dip it in water for 30 sec (I only needed 15 seconds for the smaller cupcake designs).
  4. Grip it gently between your fingers and slide the decal off. It should end up on your finger.
  5. Place it on your nail. Gently slide it around to where you want it. Don’t slide it around too much, especially if your polish is still a bit wet – the decal will crack like a shoddy temporary tattoo on an excited child. Pat it to flatten and get rid of bubbles and wrinkles.
  6. Admire. Cover with topcoat. Appreciate how quick and painless the whole process was. Stick them in everyone’s faces.

*pun unintentional

I’m really impressed with how quickly it is to create impressive nail art with water decals! I haven’t tried any other brands yet to be able to make a real comparison, but I’m inspired to try out the decals lying in my nail art box soon!

Here are some pics from the BBU nail art workshop:

Me with Heather, one of the co-owners of Darling. How great are her curls?

Darling offers several mixes of caviar-style beads in the Rockcandy range.This is Millions & Billions, which looks like (you guessed it) hundreds and thousands sprinkles.

Heather applies Millions & Billions to Kitty‘s fingernail while Maria and Stacey (with the camera) look on

Heather seals the beads with a bit of topcoat…

The final product, against Kitty’s awesome Black Milk skirt!

Have you tried water decals? Are they the future of nail art?

This product was provided for consideration, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.


  1. says

    Ahh I love the cupcake ones! Way too cute. I’m on a low carb diet too :( Well not diet, I just limit myself to 20g of carb per meal…more like eating healthy because one shouldn’t eat as much carb as I used to lol.

    • says

      Glad to hear that someone else is suffering with me :P I went on the same diet in August and lost 4 kg, but I gained it all back in September… hope I’ll do better this time!

  2. says

    You did such a gorgeous jobs with the decals, I’m going to have to steal your ideas and attempt to make the coloured dots on the white polish, the decals show up so well on the white nail polish

  3. says

    I’m still a nail noob so this is the first I’ve heard of nail decals, but wow what a cute couple of looks! I’m forbidden to have sweets too, so I’m craving those nails… >_> I love cute things

    If they’re as easy to apply and use as it sounds they may be the future of nail art for the lazies like me (: I’m sure there will always be the hard-core people hand-painting their nails, though.

    • says

      They’re great! One of my friends told me they were easy to use but for some reason I didn’t believe her, oops! You can actually make your own, but I think you’d have to own a colour laser printer for making coloured decals, so that would put me off if I had a coloured design in mind.

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